RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR/CNN) – On Easter Sunday, members of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond received news of the passing of their Pastor Bishop Gerald Glenn.

“You know my heart is heavy. This is a tough one. You know this is a blow to the body of Christ,” said Glenn’s mentee Joe Ellison Jr.

Pastor Ellison says Glenn was his mentor – someone he looked up to not only as a pastor, but as a man.

“And I said this guy is not only a pastor. Even back then I saw the calling of a Bishop on his life because he was a pastor to other pastors. And that’s what made Bishop Glenn so unique. He made me realize that I could be an outstanding pastor, outstanding husband, an outstanding father, most importantly an outstanding leader,” said Ellison.

In his last known in-person service on March 22, Glenn got his congregation at the church to stand to prove how many were there despite warnings against gatherings of more than 10 people.

“I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus. You can quote me on that,” he said, repeating it a second time to claps, saying that “people are healed” in his church.

Just last week, family members shared on Facebook about Glenn and his wife Marcietia’s condition with COVID-19.

It was a shock to many, including Ellison, who said he last spoke with Bishop Glenn a couple months ago after the passing of his brother.

Love, Ellison says, is what friends and family will now be giving to the Glenn family.

“You know, let’s lift up Mother Glenn. Her sisters, her family, her daughters, the whole family. He loved his family. He loved his church family. He loved all his sons and daughters in the ministry. But the most important thing about Bishop Glenn, he loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Family members say Glenn’s wife is recovering after contracting coronavirus.

According to church officials, her daughter and son-in-law are also in the hospital.

They are both suffering from pneumonia in both lungs.

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